|Publication number||US7128013 B1|
|Application number||US 11/240,783|
|Publication date||Oct 31, 2006|
|Filing date||Sep 26, 2005|
|Priority date||Sep 26, 2005|
|Publication number||11240783, 240783, US 7128013 B1, US 7128013B1, US-B1-7128013, US7128013 B1, US7128013B1|
|Inventors||Stephen J. Plunkett, Richard E. Dooley|
|Original Assignee||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (3), Classifications (13), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
(1) Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to shock isolation in launch tubes, and more particularly to a launch tube system that uses an inflatable bladder to provide shock isolation.
(2) Description of the Prior Art
Underwater shock is a major consideration when designing underwater launch tubes. In the past, elastomeric or polymeric materials have been permanently bonded to the inside surfaces of launch tubes to provide shock isolation around the circumference of a projectile (e.g., weapon, sensor system, etc.) loaded in the launch tube. The bonded material remains permanently in the launch tube and often interferes with or restricts the amount of exhaust that can be vented from the launch tube during a launch event. Also, when launch tube designs require the tandem, vertical stacking of projectiles, projectiles further down in the stack may have trouble clearing all the bonded shock isolation materials in the launch tube without experiencing velocity reduction.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a launch tube system utilizing shock isolation of a non-permanent nature.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more obvious hereinafter in the specification and drawings.
In accordance with the present invention, a launch tube system has shock isolation for a projectile housed therein. Two concentric sleeves are utilized with an inner sleeve defining a launch tube and an outer sleeve surrounding the inner sleeve and spaced apart therefrom. The inner sleeve has a plurality of holes formed therethrough. One or more flexible bladders are disposed between the inner outer sleeves. A fluid under pressure is introduced into the flexible bladder(s). When filled with the fluid, the flexible bladder(s) expands and extends into and through the holes and into confines of the inner sleeve to thereby form shock isolation for a projectile housed in the inner sleeve.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reference to the following description of the preferred embodiments and to the drawings, wherein corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings and wherein:
Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to
Launch tube system 10 generally includes an inner tube or sleeve 12, an outer tube or sleeve 14, a sealed bladder 16, and a bladder inflator 18. More specifically, inner sleeve 12 and outer sleeve 14 are concentric sleeves with inner sleeve 12 serving as a launch tube for projectile 100. Typically, sleeves 12 and 14 are made of a rigid material, the choice of which is not a limitation of the present invention.
Inner sleeve 12 has a plurality of holes 12A formed or cut therethrough with edges 12B (defining holes 12A) so-formed or cut typically being rounded as illustrated. In the illustrated example, holes 12A are elongated slots that extend axially along inner sleeve 12. However, the present invention is not so limited as the slots could also extend diagonally or transversely with respect to the axial dimension of sleeve 12. Still further, the number and/or size of holes 12A can be different than that shown. That is, the holes in sleeve 12 could have other geometries without departing from the scope of the present invention. The holes in sleeve 12 can be evenly distributed about inner sleeve 12 as shown or could be placed in strategic locations around sleeve 12 for a particular application without regard to an even distribution thereof.
Outer sleeve 14 is spaced apart from inner sleeve 12 such that a gap is formed therebetween. Fitted in this gap is bladder 16 made from a flexible material such as an elastomeric material or a composite fabric material. In
In operation, projectile 100 is loaded into inner sleeve 12 with bladder 16 in its deflated state shown in
Bladder 16 can be realized by a single annular bladder that encircles inner sleeve 12 as illustrated. However, the present invention could also be realized using several bladders with each one thereof being aligned with a single one or several of holes 12A. Such individual bladders could be linked for filling with a single bladder inflator 18, or could be coupled to a corresponding number of independent bladder inflators.
In terms of using the present invention for underwater launch scenarios,
The advantages of the present invention are numerous. The launch tube system is easy to fabricate, simple to operate, and can be adapted to a variety of launch tube sizes and configurations. The shock isolation provided by the present invention is not permanent and can easily be removed from the confines of the launch tube to accommodate loading and launches.
It will be understood that many additional changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangement of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US4616554 *||Aug 13, 1984||Oct 14, 1986||Westinghouse Electric Corp.||Extendable tube for vertically delivered weapons|
|US4627327 *||Jun 3, 1985||Dec 9, 1986||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy||Hybrid unitized shock and vibration mitigation system|
|US6382123 *||Mar 27, 2000||May 7, 2002||Delegation Generale Pour L'armement||Multicaliber torpedo tube|
|US6526860 *||Jun 19, 2001||Mar 4, 2003||Raytheon Company||Composite concentric launch canister|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7681352 *||Jun 30, 2008||Mar 23, 2010||Lockheed Martin Corporation||Underwater gun comprising a valve-type barrel-seal|
|US7735440 *||Oct 30, 2002||Jun 15, 2010||Lockheed Martin Corporation||Inflatable restraint for missiles and missile canisters|
|US8887614 *||May 14, 2013||Nov 18, 2014||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy||Stacked buoyant payload launcher|
|U.S. Classification||114/238, 89/1.81, 89/1.806, 89/1.816|
|Cooperative Classification||F41F3/052, F41F3/07, F41F3/10, F41F3/073|
|European Classification||F41F3/07, F41F3/073, F41F3/052, F41F3/10|
|Nov 10, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NAVY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE, AS REPRESENTE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PLUNKETT, STEPHEN J.;DOOLEY, RICHARD E.;REEL/FRAME:017003/0271
Effective date: 20050916
|Jan 23, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jun 13, 2014||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 31, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Dec 23, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20141031